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TOPIC: July 2008


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RE: July 2008
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Giant Jupiter takes over the night sky this month, gleaming from dark until dawn in the southern sky.
The planet is at a point known as opposition, or directly opposite the sun and at its closest point to Earth.
The planet is just above the teapot shape of Sagittarius and east of Antares, heart of the constellation Scorpius and the brightest star in the area.

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Mercury: at magnitude 0.6, starts the month in the constellation of Taurus. On July 1st, 18:00 UT the planet is at greatest elongation, 21.8 west of Sun (morning). Mercury is at greatest illuminated extent (morning) on the 18th, 09:00 UT. On the 21st (17:30 UT) the planet is at Perihelion (distance to sun: 0.307 AU). Best seen from 3.7h - 3.7h.
(On July 1st, RA= 5h09m04s Dec=+1937.6' (J2000) Distance=0.826AU Elongation= 22 Phase k=34% Diameter=8.1")

Venus: is at magnitude -3.9, The planet is in constellation Gemini at the start of the month. On June 3rd, the planst is close to the Moon, Separation 1.04. The planet is best seen from 5.3h -22.1h.
(On July 4th, RA= 7h24m14s Dec=+2259.7' (J2000) Distance=1.717AU Elongation= 7 Phase k=99% Diameter=9.7")

spacer.gif Moon Phase Now!

Moon Phase!

Earth: - at 08:00 UT 4th July, Earth is at aphelion. The Earth is at its furthest point from the Sun, on its year-long slightly elliptical orbit around the Sun. The distance at that time is 152,104,160 km, which is about 5 million km further away than its closest point in early January.

The Moon is at Perigee on the 1st at 22:05 UT, (distance to earth center: 359,514 km) and again on the 30th, 0:15.7 UT, and at apogee on the 14th, at 04:20 UT, (distance to earth center: 405,452 km).

Mars: at magnitude 1.6 starts the month in the constellation Leo. On the 10th (18:36 UT) the planet is close to Saturn: only 38.4' separated. The planet is best seen from 22.6h -23.8h.
(On July 1st, RA=10h10m02s Dec=+1231.5' (J2000) Distance=2.117AU Elongation= 50 Phase k=94% Diameter=4.4")

Jupiter: is still bright at magnitude -2.7 in the constellation Sagittarius. Jupiter is at opposition on the 9th, 7:00 UT, (distance to earth: 4.161 AU). The planet is visible all night throughout the entire month. On the 17st the Moon is close to the planet, Separation 5.5. The planet is best seen from 22.1h - 4.6h.
(On July 1st, RA=19h19m51s Dec=-2220.8' (J2000) Distance=4.174AU Elongation=171)

The planet Jupiter is a source of huge radio storms. Click the link to hear the live audio stream.
The radio outbursts are in the frequency range 18 - 32 MHz. Sensitive receivers translate Jupiter's radio waves to audio sounds.
Click! For alternative listening site.
click here! for Great RedSpot Transit times.
Click! Check forum for Satellite predictions.

Saturn: at magnitude 0.8 sits in the constellation Leo. The planet is best seen from 22.6h -24.0h. The planet is the brightest object in the constellation and worth a look through binoculars this month.
(On July 1st, RA=10h27m52s Dec=+1126.3' (J2000) Distance=9.873AU Elongation= 54)

click here! for interactive Saturn moon calculator .

Uranus is in the constellation Aquarius, near Lambda Aquarii, magnitude 3.7. Uranus at magnitude 5.8, has a bluish-green hue and appears 3.7 arcseconds wide. On June 27th, the planst is Stationary: Getting Retrograde. The planet is best seen from 1.0h - 2.1h.
(On July 1st, RA=23h33m47s Dec= -341.0' (J2000) Distance=19.779AU Elongation=107)

Neptune: in the constellation Capricornus less than 3 degrees northeast of the 4.3 mag star Iota Capricornii. A telescope will usually show a tiny bluish dot, only 2.5 arcseconds wide (mag 7.9).
(On November 1st,
RA=21h26m36s Dec=-1521.4' (J2000) Distance=29.851AU Elongation=100)

Pluto is in the constellation Sagittarius (mag 14). Normally, a finder chart is necessary to help in identifying the 0.1" diameter dwarf planet. On June 19th, the planet is the closest to the Earth (30.469 AU). On June 20th, the planet is at opposition. The dwarf planet is best seen from 21.9h - 4.5h..
(On May 1st, RA=18h03m24s Dec=-1701.6' (J2000) Distance=30.801AU Elongation=130)

The Sun enters the zodiac sign Leo on the 22nd July.



-- Edited by Blobrana at 23:39, 2008-06-30

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tablejuly08

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planetsjuly08

-- Edited by Blobrana at 19:30, 2008-06-30

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Highlights

The Summer Triangle -- Vega, Deneb, and Altair -- holds the central position, high in the south. The scorpion sits low to the south and slightly west. Directly to the arachnid's east is Sagittarius, the Archer, and between the two lies the direction toward the Milky Way galaxy's centre. The ribbon of soft light that delineates our galaxy flows up from the south, through the Triangle, and then cascades toward the northern horizon.

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Meteor Showers

July has two meteor shower: the Capricornids are active over July with peaks on the 8th, 15th and 26th, although the maximum rate is only about 5 meteors per hour. The Delta Aquarids are active from 15 July with a peak on the 29th of 10-20 per hour. The Alpha Cygnids will peak on the 21st July when you can see up to 5 shooting stars per hour.
You can listen to them by tuning to the 67 MHz meteor radar in Roswell, NM.

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity ZHR
Date R.A. Dec. km/s
Beta Taurids (daylight) June 5-July 18 29th June 79.4
21.2
Capricornids 8th 8th July
July Phoenicids 10th -19th July 10th July
Ophiuchids 15th 15th July 18.9h -22.6 13.4km/s 5
Alpha Capricornids 16th July
Alpha Cygnids 21st July 5
Capricornids 26th 26th July
Kappa Cygnids 27th July
S. Delta-Aquariids July 14-Aug 18 30th July 3.9h -51.8d 14 km/s 11.2
Scorpius-Sagittariids 31th July 20.2h -24.6 10.5km/s 5
Yes, click this! for UK (A.Smith)

Radio Meteor Observation Station Track



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This is the first full month of summer and there are several celestial and man-made highlights to watch for, adding some excitement to this new season.
The nights are already getting longer again and there are three celestial highlights to enjoy. Mars will finally catch up with and pass Saturn; Jupiter reaches opposition; and there will even be a meteor shower thrown in for good measure, the Delta Aquarids.

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Two bright planets, Mars and Saturn, will approach each other in our evening sky during the next couple of weeks.

On July 5 from midnorthern latitudes, look west after sunset to see the moon, Saturn, and Mars lined up in the paws of Leo. Mars and Saturn can be easily spotted near bright Regulus prior to this.

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July days may be blistering, but its nights are full of cool astronomical sights.
The southern horizon belongs to Scorpius, the celestial scorpion, which climbs into the southeastern sky as night falls in early July.
Scorpius is one of the 12 signs of the zodiac, that band of constellations through which the sun passes during its annual circuit around the sky. And it's one of the few constellations that actually look something like their names.

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